A schoolgirl has helped make a film about the day-to-day problems she faces with autism in the hope it will raise awareness of the lifelong developmental disability.
Lauren Goldsmith, 14, of Mill Hill, has Asperger’s Syndrome – a form of autism which affects how she communicates with people and copes with certain social situations.
When she was younger, Lauren found it difficult to read people’s facial expressions and tone of voice, making it difficult for her to communicate.
But with the help of teachers and her mum Gill, she has overcome many of her greatest anxieties and is eager to share her journey with others via the film A Window into Our World.
With the support of The National Autistic Society and production company Chocolate Film, Lauren joined nine other autistic teenagers to make the animated film about the stress and anxiety they often face in their daily lives.
Lauren said: “For normal people they would be able to walk into a noisy room and it wouldn't bother them, but it would be difficult for a person with autism. They find it difficult to deal with loud noise and it can make them feel stressed.
“For me, when I’m in a conversation I don’t always understand what people are talking about, especially if there’s a hidden meaning or a pun. And sometimes I can have things badly organised and I can get quite angry about it.”
Throughout the film, the young people describe some of the ways they combat their anxieties. For Lauren, she likes to talk to people, take herself to a quiet space to think or squeeze a stress ball.
Lauren, who attends Jewish Community Secondary School, said: “I really hope the film will raise awareness of autism and become useful for people who don’t really know about it.”
Mum Gill said: "She has come so far - I couldn't be any prouder than I am."
A Window into Our World will be uploaded onto The National Autistic Society website www.autism.org.uk